Pharmaceutical ginger, or medicinal ginger, or real ginger, or ordinary ginger (lat. Zīngiber officināle) – a perennial herb; type species of the genus Ginger of the Ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Often called simply ginger; raw or processed plant rhizomes are also called ginger.
Medicinal ginger is a perennial herb up to 1 m high, with a highly branched horizontal rhizome, with a strong smell and pungent taste.
Roots by origin, subordinate, form a fibrous root system. The root is often taken to be a modified underground shoot – the rhizome, from which green aboveground shoots and additional roots depart.
Rhizome – primary structure: integumentary tissue – cork; the central axial cylinder is a ring of vascular fiber bundles (closed collateral), a parenchyma with numerous vascular fiber bundles (closed collateral) and cells with essential oil (yellow-green).
The stem is erect, round, not pubescent. The internodes are more than 1 cm, elongated.
The leaves are alternate simple, whole, lanceolate, one-pointed, with a pointed apex, have a leaf sheath. The base of the leaf is heart-shaped.
The flowers are zygomorphic, located on short peduncles, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences. A green cup consists of five sepals, fused. Corolla separate of three petals of violet-brown or yellow-orange colors. Androecium is multiple, one stamen is fertile, the rest are barren. Gynoecium consists of three fused carpels.
The fruit is a tricuspid box.
Ginger comes from the countries of South Asia. Currently grown in China, India, Indonesia, Australia, West Africa, Jamaica, Barbados.
In the Middle Ages it was introduced to Europe, where it was used as a spice and medicine. In particular, ginger was considered one of the main means for the prevention of plague.
The content of essential oil in dry rhizomes is 1.5–3%, its main components are α- and β-zingiberenes (zingiberni; sesquiterpenes (group of organic compounds of the terpenes class – up to 70%), also contains camphene, cineole, bisabolene, borneol, citral, linalool.Ginger also contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and essential amino acids.The burning taste is due to the substance gingerol.
Ginger rhizome (lat. Rhizoma Zingiberis) goes on sale in pharmacies in a peeled or unpeeled form.
Ginger in the form of infusion, tincture, powder is used for joint diseases (arthritis, arthrosis, osteoarthrosis), motion sickness, gastric ulcer, to increase appetite and improve digestion, atherosclerosis, impaired fat and cholesterol metabolism, to normalize the state of blood vessels.
Ginger broth with honey and lemon is often used for colds.
Compresses are used to relieve headaches, back pain and chronic rheumatism.
Essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy for the treatment of psycho-emotional disorders, diseases of the musculoskeletal system, colds and viral diseases. It is used in hot inhalations, in baths, for rubbing, for massage and inside.
Medicinal ginger is included in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (BTF), the pharmacopeia of China, Japan, Egypt, Austria, Switzerland, is used in African and Asian medicine.